|L-R: Daniel Blum, CC, Georgia, Captain Edward Stetson, & Stephens Miranda|
The 50-foot Nomad, in which Stephens Miranda & Daniel Blum were planning a four-year-long, round the world trip, was christened by Chaplin at a ceremony in San Pedro on April 21st, 1929.
Accompanying him to the christening was his leading lady in The Gold Rush, Georgia Hale, carrying a bouquet of red roses–a traditional prop for such an occasion. Before the ceremony the two had made a quick excursion to Catalina Island on Chaplin’s boat The Kid. They returned to the mainland by airplane just in time for the christening.1
Grace Kingsley wrote that “Charlie was immensely interested in the [Nomad]–went all over it and congratulated the boys on being able to seek adventure while they are still young & full of enthusiasm. He said, very wistfully, we thought, that he wished he were going with the boys on their trip. Charlie is crazy about boats…And when we told Charlie that the boys expected to be sailing on the boat for four years, he confessed to us that he thought two people in that small cabin might quarrel.”2
Breaking a bottle of ginger ale disguised as champagne (this was during prohibition) on the bow of the boat, Chaplin declared: “In the spirit of adventure, I christen thee Nomad.”3
|The christening. Note that Chaplin’s hair is dyed black for the filming of City Lights.|
1I was unaware that Chaplin ever had a boat named The Kid but this tidbit is mentioned in both the Los Angeles Times (May 12, 1929, “Ho! For The Life Of A Sailor” by Grace Kingsley) and the June 1929 issue of Motor Boat magazine (“Charley Chaplin’s Mysterious Cruise”). The reason for their dash to Catalina before the christening is unknown, although it is mentioned in both sources. The Motor Boat article, which seems to veer between fact and fiction, made it sound like this was some sort of race. The magazine also states that rough seas may have been the reason Charlie and Georgia returned to the mainland by airplane.
2Los Angeles Times, May 12, 1929
4Los Angeles Times, “They’ll Sail Into The Sunset,” April 22, 1929